Aspiring drivers in Nunavut's Baffin and Kivalliq regions need to act quickly to make sure they have their tests booked for next year, as changes to the way driving tests are done come into effect.

Beginning on January 1, driving tests in Baffin and Kivalliq communities will be conducted by the territory's Economic Development and Transportation Department. Previously, the tests were administered by RCMP. 

According to the department, people in the affected regions should contact their government liaison officer by Feb. 1 if they plan to do their driving tests in 2018.

The same change to the administration of driving tests will take effect on July 1 in Nunavut's Kitikmeot region. The transportation department already administers driving tests in the territory's capital of Iqaluit.

While the department figures out a long term plan, Jimi Onalik, a policy analyst with the department, says it will send examiners to each community as needed. 

"Do we need to hire a bunch more examiners? Do we need to look at training examiners in communities? We're going to use this to come up with a permanent system because we know that a driver's licence is really important for people in Nunavut. It's really helpful for employment, whether it's for the hamlets or with the mines," Onalik said. 

He says he's not sure why the RCMP made the decision to stop administering tests. 

With files from Jordan Konek